City offers Arizona man public works job

Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson says he’s offered the job of public works director to a city engineer in Arizona.

Public Works Director Larry Bledsoe is scheduled to retire on Dec. 21, although Bledsoe says he’s staying on to finish up some tasks from his new home in Idaho through the end of January. Bledsoe says he’s supportive of the decision to hire Nick Mascia, a city engineer and assistant public works director for the city of Surprise, Ariz.

Mascia has not yet formally accepted the job.

On Wednesday, the Aberdeen City Council approved paying Mascia $3,000 to cover his re-location costs. They also approved boosting his vacation time to that of an employee who has 10 years experience with the city. That boosts his vacation time to 18 hours per month, instead of 14 hours per month.

Mayor Simpson has already authorized paying Mascia a $106,164 annual salary if he takes the job.

Once Mascia accepts the job, the Aberdeen City Council must then officially confirm him to the position.

“I think Nick will bring a lot of experience and knowledge that will really help the city,” Bledsoe said. “Plus, he really likes the area here. He was looking for some place with not as much sun. Well, he found it.”

Simpson said he was impressed with Mascia’s expertise dealing with roads, in particular. The City Council recently approved sending a sales tax measure to the voters to provide more funding for roads paving and Simpson said he trusts Mascia will be able to bring a lot to the table should the measure pass.

Simpson said he hopes to present Mascia to the City Council before the Nov. 28 meeting.

The city spent $20,000 on a consulting firm to do a nationwide search to look for candidates that would be a good fit for Aberdeen and Mascia’s application stood out, Simpson said.

As the Public Works Director, Bledsoe has been the go-to-guy when it comes to all things streets, city lights and flooding. He’s been the director for more than a decade and is credited for solving most of the city’s flooding problems by improving tide gates and installing pumps.